The difference between Reference and Prestige series, basically speaking, are stylus mass, tip mass, diamond shapes and size, different coils, different wires and compliance. The cost difference between the Reference and Prestige series are the closer tolerances, skilled technicians vs assembly line production, much higher parts cost and different design in the Reference series. The Prestige series of cartridges are designed for high output and excellent stability under severe use. A considerable tip mass reduction results in a frequency response to 55 kHz and beyond and tracking forces from 1-2 grams.
The Silver and Gold models use a four piece OTL cantilever technology, ultra-high purity long crystal (UHPLC) oxygen free copper wire in the coils and Grado's specially designed elliptical diamond mounted on a brass bushing. The Gold model is selected from the Silver production run and meet higher test specifications. Approximately 5% of the production run meet these standards and become Gold models.